By Anand Patel
Having just returned from Great American Realtor Days (GARD) in my state’s capital of Tallahassee, Fla., I am energized for my first trip to Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. this May. GARD is an annual event for REALTORS® from across the state of Florida to meet and discuss key real estate issues with our senators and representatives. It is an opportunity for our elected officials to hear the collective voices of REALTORS® as they come together in solidarity. With Midyear, I’ll be getting a second chance to do just that, only this time, on a national level, so I can only imagine how much more intense an experience it will be!
This year is also my first time serving on an NAR-level committee, and I am really looking forward to meeting some of my fellow committee members. Serving at the national level offers the opportunity to network and share ideas with some of the brightest and best in our business from across the country. This alone makes trips like this worth it.
Outside of committee meetings, Midyear offers ample networking opportunities and time to build upon existing relationships I’ve created at past conferences. With the YPN Reception and Capitol Hill visits, I think this is going to be an incredibly unique experience. I’ve also decided to turn this into a family trip, so my family and I will be spending some time in the city of Washington, visiting museums and the world famous Smithsonian’s National Zoo. There’s nothing wrong with mixing business with pleasure!
Who else is attending Midyear for the first time? Or are you still debating whether or not to go? I personally guarantee that if you make it a point to meet new people, come with an open mind, and observe and learn from those around you, it will be well worth the trip.
If you have attended Midyear in the past, please comment below and share your experiences so that those attending for the first time can know what they have to look forward to!
See you in DC!
By Peter N. Lamandre
While I was at the Rally to Protect the American Dream last Thursday during the NAR Midyear meetings in Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to interview some of the YPNers in attendance. See what they had to say about the importance of homeownership.
By Chris Nichols
Approximately 60 REALTORS® from the state of Utah spent last Wednesday afternoon discussing issues vital to the housing market with their Congressional Delegation. The afternoon started with a state caucus meeting with Jamie Gregory, one of NAR’s chief lobbyists, walking us through the major talking points of the day. Then it was off to Capitol Hill to meet with Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, and Representatives Jason Chaffetz, Rob Bishop and Jim Matheson.
The meetings were a tremendous success and we are fortunate in Utah to have a congressional delegation that gets it when it comes to the importance of homeownership.
Following the close of the Senate session, we had the amazing opportunity of a private tour with Senator Lee’s chief of staff, Spencer Stokes. The Capitol was empty and we had the opportunity to enjoy the rotunda with no one else around. There is certainly something about standing in these hallowed halls and quietly soaking in the history and importance of this special place.
Spencer was such a gracious tour guide, showing us amazing places such as the President’s Room, the House Chapel, and a very special visit to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Room. The staff there was wonderful and shared many interesting and insight stories about what happens in that room.
My evening ended on a high note with a private dinner at the Capitol Hill Club with my Congressman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz. I had a great time discussing a variety of things ranging from the presidential election to everyday life with him. As always, it’s a great opportunity to come to Washington, D.C., and spend quality time with our elected officials.
*Originally published on NAR’s Midyear Live Blog.
By Brooke Wolford
Lately, there has seemed to be a lot of drama surrounding the world of real estate. We can’t seem to go a day without some sort of challenge. I have found myself getting emotional sometimes because I work so hard and I seem to frequently get a smack in the face.
This past weekend, NAR passed the REALTOR® Party Political Survival Initiative. I watched it happen live via Twitter. Soon after it was announced, the comments started rolling in. It was amazing how emotional many agents were about the issue. While many had different views on the issue, I did notice one amazing thing…agents were coming together. In my 11 years in the business, I had never seen anything like this. It seemed as if we were all working together, regardless of company affiliation. It was truly amazing.
As an 11-year veteran of the real estate industry, there have been many changes in our business and this is one of them. If you are like me, this is why you are in the business. We need to be able to adapt and evolve with all the changes. Use the challenges you face to help you grow as an agent.
“Though the road’s been rocky it sure feels good to me.” –Bob Marley
Brooke Wolford is a real estate practitioner with Edina Realty, Hastings, Minn. Follow her blog at adventuresinrookierealestate.com.
By Kelly Reark
We were all standing around complaining about our feet hurting in the shoes we chose, wondering if it was our third or fifth cup of Starbucks that day, when the idea hit me that maybe I should put together a quick list of dos and don’ts for anyone attending one of our marathon REALTOR® conferences throughout the year. I have been to a half dozen of these events, and I should know better. With the REALTORS® Midyear Meetings & Trade Expo quickly approaching, here are my survival tips:
1. Wear comfortable shoes (or go ahead and show off those cute pumps but bring a big purse with a pair of flats just in case). Guys, just make sure you have on socks. Invest $3 for a stick of Band-Aid’s blister block. Shoes you’ve not walked in for awhile will do you wrong at a conference.
2. Take it outside. Now, I know this should be rudimentary, like arriving on time or not interrupting the speaker, but make sure you switch your phone to silent mode. If a call comes in, and you must answer it, go out of the room. Business is definitely important, so don’t gab in the middle of a room full of people. I sat in more than one class during the mid-winter event thinking, “are you kidding me?“ Oh, and the “looking around acting like it’s not you” thing while your phone plays your entire ring tone really doesn’t work.
3. Bring an extra cell phone battery. Twelve hours of checking voicemails and texting between events will leave you powerless.
4. Dress in layers. Even in sunny Florida, dressing in layers is critical. A few minutes in the sun will have you sweating, but the event center might have cranked the AC in anticipation of all of us hot-heads. It’s good to be versatile on the fly.
5. No time for a workout this trip? Says who? Don’t offer to hang on to someones stuff unless you really want to work your arms, back, and patience for the day. Even 5 pounds feels like 50 after you have lugged it all over an event. Continue reading »
About 200 young real estate professionals attended the REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo networking event at The Gibson on May 13 in Washington, D.C. The event, “Speaking Easy with YPN,” was sponsored by the REALTORS® Political Action Committee and the REALTOR® Party.
YPNers had the opportunity to meet with NAR leadership and mingle with other young professionals from throughout the country. Several YPN members also took part in committee meetings and events during the week.
Midyear was particularly significant for YPN this year as its Advisory Board received official Subcommittee status (under the Communications Committee) by NAR’s Board of Directors.
For more information on how to get involved with YPN, or how to start a chapter in your area, visit www.realtor.org/ypn.
By Nobu Hata
Preconceived notions I had of an NAR committee aside, this would be my third Midyear and my first year serving on any committee, and I was bound and determined to make the best of it.
I was appointed to the Equal Opportunity/Diversity Committee, and my knee-jerk reaction was essentially a surprise-surprise-throw-the-asiandude-on-the-most-predictable-committee-possible one. Even better: There were a total of two conference calls before what was supposed to be pivotal rulings at Midyear. How anything can be both “pivotal” but get allocated such little time to discuss, was beyond me. We were to have an open REALTOR(R) forum — where outreach to under-represented REALTORS(R) was to be discussed — and a formal committee meeting where those solutions would be refined into a cute NAR package. Visions of REALTOR(R) whine-fests were filling my head; cynicism was setting in.
I’ll admit it: I was totally wrong. The need for outreach, education, cultivation and training of leadership of YPN, GLBT, Asian, Hispanic, African American, and handicapped practitioners was discussed in the forum. Actual solutions were determined. Past-President Charles McMillan let it be known that the road to national involvement doesn’t necessarily mean 20 years of million-dollar production and political back-scratching. The red tape is gone; and it’s up to those with the desire to see change, to facilitate it. It was pretty clear that the EOC was passed trying to diversify NAR, frankly there are plenty of under-represented agents making money in this business. What we need is to stop the brain-drain by keeping their talent and knowledgebase within the NAR fold, rather than starting their own segmented groups. They need to be elevated and recognized, become representations of NAR membership and becoming advocates of NAR. Continue reading »